Bidding & Optimization Strategies for the Modern Search Marketer
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This year, I resolve to…
1. Get Organized
Is your idea of “keyword research” just a bunch of keywords jammed into in an excel? Effective keyword organization and keyword management is a foundational component of paid and organic search marketing. In PPC, it means grouping similar keywords and matching them with targeted ad text and landing pages. And in SEO, it means effectively targeting keyword niches in order to create and link together original themed content about specific topics, which in turn are more likely to rank highly for targeted organic searches. Start a new year off with proper keyword organization!
2. Lose Weight
Cut the fat from your PPC campaign! Negative keyword discovery and negative keyword expansion —along with dumping keywords you shouldn’t have been bidding on in the first place—can have a huge impact on your overall paid search costs, both by reducing garbage clicks and by improving your click-through rates and quality scores, which further lower your overall cost per click and first-page bids.
3. Quit Smoking
Don’t let valuable search marketing insights go up in smoke! Profitable insights can be gleaned by analyzing PPC and SEO keyword data side-by-side. Aggregate your SEO and PPC data so you can incorporate the learning’s from one medium to the other. By better executing PPC, you can better execute SEO, and vice versa.
4. Spend More Time with Family
Who wants to be stuck at the office doing boring, repetitive tasks like grouping keywords and finding negatives, when you could be home with your loved ones? It’s not (yet!) possible to automate search marketing as a whole, but in general, if you find yourself doing the same tasks over and over, consider that other search marketers have probably experienced the same thing, and there are likely tools available to automate it. With all your time savings, you’ll be able to put more time in on value-added tasks like landing page creation, ad text authoring, or plotting your search marketing strategy.
5. Manage Time Better
There are an endless number of things you can tweak and optimize in a search marketing campaign. One of the most important skills in search is the ability to plan a series of actions (i.e., a workflow) that will provide the biggest returns for time spent. It’s all about efficiency.
Search marketers often get caught in the trap of too much data analysis and not enough action. Try to make sure that whatever key performance indicators you’re tracking are actionable, and that the actions that you take are informed by your data.
6. Save Money
Check out these Free Keyword Research and AdWords Management tools!
7. Support the Arts
Donate a portion of your savings or increased profits from improved search marketing management to help out a worthy cause. This will make you feel good while helping out with tax breaks.
8. Try Something New!
There are tons of new AdWords features being rolled out every month that it’s quite hard to keep up. The following are (in my opinion) the top 3 most interesting areas of AdWords innovations over the past year:
- The Google+ Project: Including social media and paid search integration, etc.
- AdWords Extensions: Including Google Places Extensions, Click-to-Call Extensions, Site-link Extensions, Social Extensions, communication extensions, etc.
- The Display Network: Including exciting new targeting options, like remarketing and demographic targeting, etc.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to try these out these exciting new features in your AdWords campaigns, and look for even more exciting innovations to come in 2012! (I’ve seen them all, and I think they’re awesome!).
9. Reduce Stress
If you don’t have the time or resources needed to execute a well-optimized search campaign, consider getting help. Going it alone or under-resourced will most certainly lead to performance stagnation as well as a burnout. To effectively market through search, it’s necessary to create an environment where all parties involved (PPC managers, business managers, etc.) are not only aware of search marketing best practices, but have the resources available to implement those best practices. Adopt tools and processes across your entire workforce to enable coordination and collaboration of PPC and make your life easier.
New Years is all about that kiss. I hope this year, whoever you kiss at midnight, you also kiss away your bad PPC marketing habits goodbye and vow to embrace better ones. Cheers to a happy 2012 and better click-through rates, Quality Scores, and ROI!